“Trouble with the Curve” is the furthest thing from a curveball

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“Trouble with the Curve” is the furthest thing from a curveball

By Wesley Emblidge

Eastwood in one of his battles with furniture in “Trouble with the Curve”

I think I speak for most people when I say I really wish Clint Eastwood had stopped working a long time ago. With the downhill spiral of his directing career, his embarrassing speech at the Republican National Convention recently, and now his latest starring role, “Trouble with the Curve,” it’s hard to remember that I used to really love the man. However, this isn’t the Eastwood who was in “Dirty Harry” or starred in and directed “Unforgiven. ” His performance and the entire movie is just aggressively average, beating you over the head with it’s message until you just give up and try to get through this boring, overlong film.

Eastwood plays Gus, an old baseball scout whose vision is starting to go, and is in danger of just being replaced by computers calculating picks based on players statistics. In one way, it’s trying to cash in on the success of “Moneyball” last year, with a baseball drama focuses on drafting players, but at the same time it’s somewhat of a response to that movie, with Gus grumbling “A computer can’t tell if a kid’s got heart!”

Eastwood’s character is…old. That’s about it. He’s a cranky old man the entire movie, doesn’t change much, and is massively unsympathetic. The very first scene of the film is him standing in front of the toilet yelling at his penis until he’s able to start urinating. Sadly, that’s about as interesting as the movie ever gets.

Justin Timberlake sitting on the roof of his car, which he does for most of “Trouble with the Curve”

Amy Adams shows up as his daughter, and they have a complicated but very uninteresting relationship that the movie wastes a lot of time on, without giving a real resolution. Justin Timberlake is in the mix as well, although all he really ends up doing is letting Amy Adams feed him exposition, and sit on the hood of his car looking really cool. There are some kids that play baseball that we have a few scenes with, to help drag the runtime out and make the movie more unbearable, and god knows how many scenes of Gus having vision problems. He crashes his car in his garage claiming that “Bunch of goddamned midgets designed this garage,” has problems with furniture (but never a chair with an invisible Obama), and burns meat. If that all sounds great to you, don’t worry, there’s a lot of it.

No one is really bad in the movie. Eastwood’s on autopilot and Timberlake is just doing his usual charismatic but uninteresting thing, but I expected something more from Adams. She’s the best in the movie, sure, but compared to her performance in another film out, “The Master,” I expected way more from her. Maybe that’s due to having a far more talented director and better script, this after all is a movie from a first time director (who previously did a lot of work on Eastwoods other films) and a first time writer.

With all that in mind, this is a totally fine movie, there’s nothing aggressively terrible, it’s just that there’s really nothing that makes it at all interesting either. I wouldn’t really recommend anyone ever watch it, but if you were stuck on a long plane ride and the only movie they were showing was this, watching it would probably be better than just reading the safety information card.

 

2.5/5 Stars